Our national budget is totally out of control. Never the less, Ryan and McConnell, self-proclaimed conservatives who are concerned about the federal budget, led the fight to pass yet another budget omnibus bill within the last month. The omnibus bill is another failure by the Republican Establishment to keep their promise that they will be fiscally conservative and responsible. This massive spending spree once again gave Pelosi and Schumer even more than they dared to dream they would be able to get.
A true fiscal conservative, Rand Paul, has forced a vote on what he calls his “Penny Plan.” The goal of Paul is to bring some control on what many have called the greatest danger to our freedom, “an out of control budget deficit and debt.”
Rand Paul’s Balanced Budget:
• Paul’s budget simply states that for every on-budget dollar the federal government spent in FY18, excluding the BBA, it spend one penny less for the next five years (at which point balance is reached), with spending then growing at one percent thereafter.
• Reduces spending by $404.8B in FY19 and by $13.35T over 10 years relative to baseline.
• Total spending still increases by 14.6 percent over the ten-year window. Only in Washington could a 14.6 percent increase be characterized as a cut.
• Balances without making any changes to Social Security.
• Makes no specific policy assumptions – all the savings are reflected in a new budget function (Function number 930: New Efficiencies, Consolidations, and Other Savings). This budget sets a goal of balance and then calls on Congress to use the tools provided to make the changes in law needed to achieve that objective.
The BBA of 2018
• The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 raised the discretionary spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 nearly $300 billion. With federal debt over $21 trillion, the negative impact of borrowing more money for this spending outweighs any benefit derived from it.
Expansion of Health Savings Accounts
• Provides reconciliation instructions to the Senate Finance Committee to allow for expanded HSAs. Senator Paul’s HSA expansion would allow patients to save for their entire out-of-pocket costs and use HSAs to pay premiums, while also widening eligible disbursements to include supplements, over-the-counter medicine, and other activities that promote wellness and reduce the overall cost of health care.
Reconciliation and Budget Process Reform
• Provides reconciliation instructions to all committees with mandatory spending, ensuring every eligible committee participates in the reconciliation process, as was the process’ original purpose.
• Raises the waiver threshold for all budget points of order so the Senate is held to a higher standard.
• Makes the budget spending totals enforceable for 10 years instead of just one.
The Senate rejected Sen. Rand Paul’s balanced budget proposal known as the “penny plan.”
The measure would have cut spending by $13 trillion over 10 years and balanced the budget in five years.
“Republicans say they are for balancing a budget so today’s a litmus test. If your senator has been saying they’re for a balanced budget, they ought to vote for it,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said in a last-minute pitch before the vote.
The vote was held and it predictably failed. Our senate supports bloated budgets and an unmanageable debt and deficits. Those who voted yes supported Paul's proposal. Those who voted no, support putting the United States in grave danger by voting to increase the single biggest threat to our freedom. an out of control debt.
Those who voted yes were, Barrasso - WY, Cornyn - TX, Crapo - ID, Cruz - TX, Daines - MT, Enzi - WY, Ernst - IA, Fischer - NE, Flake - AZ, Grassley - IA, Johnson - WI, Kennedy - LA, Lankford - OK, Lee - UT, Moran - KS, Paul - KY, Risch - ID, Rubio - FL, Sasse - NE, Scott - SC, Tommey - PA, and of course McConnell - KY voted no.
The Republicans who voted yes are telling the truth when they say they are serious about balancing the budget while those who voted against are saying one thing while doing another. In some circles these people are called liars.